tv CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley CBS January 30, 2013 6:30pm-7:00pm EST
>> pelley: tonight, a surprise witness as congress begins work on gun control. >> be bold. be courageous. americans are counting on you. >> pelley: we'll hear from gabrielle giffords and the nra. nancy cordes reports from capitol hill. michelle miller has one mother's story from newtown. a massive storm system is moving across the country tonight. what's coming next from meteorologist david bernard. the economy suddenly stops growing. anthony mason looks at the surprising new numbers and with the super bowl coming this weekend, jim axelrod in new orleans, where the city's chefs have served up an economic
recovery. >> reporter: the population shrunk, and yet the number of the restaurants went up? >> yeah, it's a miracle, isn't it? captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: good evening. the senate judiciary committee had assembled for the first congressional gun control hearing since the sandy hook tragedy when the surprise witness appeared. former congresswoman gabrielle giffords of arizona was led by the hand by her husband, mark kelly. it was two years ago this month that giffords was shot through the head during a meeting in tucson. 18 others were shot and six died. a day of testimony began with this: >> speaking is difficult, but i need to say something important.
violence is a big problem. too many children are dying. too many children. we must do something. it will be hard, but the time is now. you must act. be bold. be courageous. americans are counting on you. thank you. >> pelley: giffords, who is partially blind, resigned from congress last year. the rest of today's hearing featured gun control advocates and opponents, and our nancy cordes was there. >> reporter: at one end of the witness table was gabrielle
giffords' husband. at the other was the c.e.o.st national rifle association, wayne lapierre, who argued new gun laws are nun necessary. >> the fact is we could dramatically cut crime in this country with guns and save lives all over this country if we would start enforcing the 9,000 federal laws we have on the books. i'm talking about drug dealers with guns, gangs with guns and felons with guns. they're simply not being enforced. the numbers are shocking. >> reporter: democrats and some republicans said background checks need to be expanded to include firearm purchases made at gun shows. baltimore county police chief jim johnson: >> the best way to stop a bad guy from getting a gun in the first place is a good background check. >> my problem with back-- background checks is you're never going to get criminals to go through universal background checks. >> mr. lapierre, that's the point. the criminals won't go to purchase the guns because there will be a background check. it will stop them from the
original purchase. you missed that point completely. >> senator-- >> i think it's basic. >> senator, i think you missed-- >> let be there be order! >> reporter: much of the debate centered around a proposed assault weapon ban that would also limit the rounds in a magazine to 10. giffords' husband mark kelly argued those restrictions would have limited the carnage jared loughner could commit. >> in 15 second he's emptied his magazine. it contained 33 bullets, and there were 33 wounds. >> reporter: but gun rights advocate gail trotter argued one person's assault weapon is another's last line of offense. >> and the peace of mind that a woman has as she's facing three, four, five, violent attackers, intruders in her home with her children screaming in the background, the peace of mind that she has knowing that she has a scary-looking gun, gives her more courage when she's fighting hardened, violent
criminals. >> reporter: both sides agreed today the government need to crack down on straw purchasers, people who buy guns for others who are often criminals. the chair of the senate judiciary committee, a democrat, says he plan foz craft legislation that deals with some of these issues within the month. scott. >> pelley: and we should mention jared loughner is serving multiple life terms now. nancy, thanks very much. the state of connecticut, where newtown is located, is also holding hearings about whether to change its gun laws. one of the witnesses at the hearing tonight will be nichole hockley. her six-year-old son, dylan, was killed at sandy hook elementary school. she spoke with michelle miller today at the offices of sandy hook promise, the antiviolence group formed by newtown residents. >> reporter: why is now the time for you to stand up and speak? >> now is the time because it's the only way i can... start to make any sense of this
for myself. dylan was just pure love when you get right down to it. i am not being fair to his legacy and memory if i sit back and do nothing. >> reporter: what do you want to happen? >> all i've seen in all honesty, so far, are people immediately jumping on agendas. i find that disgusting. i would rather see more conversation and listening taking place. >> reporter: the hockleys lived just yards away from the home of the gunman. she saw adam lanza only once. it was from a distance, the week of the attack. >> it's a physical reaction to realize that at some point, so soon before it happened, that you'd actually seen the person who took your child. >> reporter: had you ever met the lanzas? >> i'm ashamed to admit no. >> reporter: ashamed? why? >> that house was kind of like a
black spot in the neighborhood. no one spoke about them. i never heard a neighbor speak of them. perhaps if there was more engagement within a community with neighbors looking outor each other, supporting each other, then maybe they would have gotten help in a different sort of way. but to know that you know everyone on your street except one house, and then that happens to be a house with people tha that... or a person that does this, that's kind of hard to swallow. so there's some regret there. >> reporter: with 100 people signed up to speak at this public hearing tonight, scott, organizers expect this to last well past midnight. >> pelley: michelle, thank you very much. now, a massive cold front is moving through the eastern states tonight after bringing severe weather, including tornadoes, to the midwest and to the south. at least two people have been killed. one of the twisters slammed into
adairsville, georgia, northwest of atlanta. >> come oget back in here! >> pelley: homes and offices were torn apart. one death has been reported there. juanita carter was sleeping when it hit. >> i was hanging-- i was on my-- my back was across those blocks and i don't remember nothing after that. i blacked out. >> pelley: water shot into the air when a pipe burst and investigation were tossed all over interstate 75, including this man's truck. >> it was just unbelievable. it's-- it's nothing-- nothing like i ever seen before in my life. >> pelley: another tornado struck outside nashville, tennessee, home after home was destroyed, and one death is reported there. in memphis, 200-year-old trees were no match for the wind. and cbs news weather consultant david bernard is in miami, tracking the storms. david, what can we expect next? >> reporter: scott, let's take a look at our collection of doppler radars we have right now and we have a slew of tornado watches that are in effect this evening from tallahassee, florida, right through georgia and the carolinas, and within
the last five minutes, the washington, d.c. area is now under a tornado watch. so these are the areas we're going to have to watch for the worst weather as we go through the overnight hours. but even philadelphia and new york could see strong winds overnight with some of the storm. >> pelley: seems early in the year for this kind of thing. how did this storm get organized? >> reporter: well, we had a bunch of ingredients that came together, kind of like all the right ingredients, i guess you could say, at the wrong time and what we're talking about are three main umass a polar air mass, which we expect, it's wintertime-- pouring out of the plains. at the same time we have these powerful jet stream wins that were coming you out of rockies yesterday. and extra warm moist air that's been spilling over the gulf coast. put all three together and that meant strong winds and in some cases tornadoes yesterday. fortunately all of that will move off the east coast later tonight and tomorrow things are going to settle down considerably but be a lot colder. >> pelley: david, thanks very much. the necome has turned
unexpectedly cloudy. government data out today showed the economy shrank for the first time since the great recession. it contracted at an annual rate of 0.1% the last three months of 2012. the economy had grown 3.1% the previous quarter. a shrinking economy over time spells recession, but don't panic yet. this number is likely to be revised as more data come in. senior business correspondent anthony mason found this dark cloud may have a silver lining. >> reporter: the headline may be disappointing, but the underlying economy was showing renewed strength at the end of last year. consumer spending, which driefsz two-third of the economy, was up 2.2%. home building soared more than 15%. and contributed to economic growth in 2012 for the first time in six years. only government spending cuts on defense caused overall economic growth to flatline.
julia coronado is chief economist. >> the fiscal tightening is taking a toll. took a toll on growth in 2012. it will take a toll again in 2013. >> reporter: but in the trade channels of the u.s. economy, the tide apeerdz to be turning. are things getting better? >> things are definitely getting better. >> robert landry is the chief commercial officer at the port of new orleans, a gateway to the mississippi. 33 million tons of cargo come through here a year. do you think the port is a kind of leading indicator? >> we see a lot of things before i think it really hits the economy because when people are making decisions, they're making them months advance to get them on board a ship. >> reporter: so what's happening now? >> right now, we're seeing things pick up. we're seeing more steel coming in. >> reporter: steel imports are up double digits. container traffic in the port of new orleans hit an all-time high in 2012. and cruise ship traffic also set a record. >> we're also seeing a large amount of exports as well. so we feel very comfortable with the way things are going.
>> reporter: the fed said today the pause in economic growth was due largely to weather-related disruptions from super storm sandy and other temporary factors. as one economist put it, it's the best cracks in the u.s. economy you're ever going to see. scott. >> pelley: anthony, you mentioned that federal spending, government spending had dropped. how much does that have to do with this cracks? >> reporter: well, it's a huge factor, scott. essentially, it wiped out a lot of private sector gains. and, of course, we're going to see congress debating more cuts in the coming months. so that could put more pressure on the economy. but the private sector continues to show improving strength. >> pelley: overseas, israeli jets attack inside syria today. the syrians claim the target was a military research facility, but our david martin at the peak tells us, that israel hit a convoy believed to be carrying weaponweapons to hezbollah, the
militant group based in lebanon. syria is in the middle of a ruinous civil war. israel and the u.s. are worried that syrian arms, including chemical weapons, could wind up in the hands of terrorists. we have new information on the problems with boeing's revolutionary 787. we'll show you why it's a lot more difficult for police to trace a gun than you might expect. and we'll remember the last of the andrews sisters when the cbs evening news continues. not easy to find, but worth it. ot, but with copd making it hard to breathe, i thought those days might be over. so my docto prescrib. it helps significantly improve my lung function starting within five minutes. symbicort doesn't replace a rescue inhaler for sudden symptoms. with symbicort, today i'm breathing better. and that means...fish on! symbicort is for copd
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city, albam park say a man shot and killed a school bus driver and grabbed a six-year-old boy from the bus and took him to an underground bunker. now, hostage negotiators are trying to end the standoff that began more than 24 hours ago. at last word, the boy was still being held00 but we are told he is receiving medicine that he needs. the driver is being called a hero for protecting the other children on the bus, 20 of them got away safely. no word on the motivation. when a gun is involved in a crime, the federal bureau of alcohol, tobacco, and firearms often gets involved to find out where that gun ciem from. but we were surprised to learn how low tech that tracing operation is. chip reid got a look inside.
>> reporter: when a gun is found at the scene of a shoot, one of the first calls made by police across the country is to the national tracing center in martinsburg, west virginia. >> verify that serial number for me, please. >> reporter: 350 employees undertake the painstaking process of tracing guns to identify their owners. charles houser has been cheeft center since 2005. >> there is a perception, even among law enforcement agencies, that if you send a serial number from a gun up here that we prug it into a computer and the name of a gun owner pops out as if there's a national registration system. there's no such thing. >> reporter: no such thing because federal law prohibits the creationave national database of gun purchases. that ban was first slipped into an appropriations bill in congress in 1979 and became permanent law in 1986 in a law sponsored by two strong supporters will of gun rights, idaho republican james
mccliewr, and missouri democrat maryland volkmer. the ban on a federal gun sale database has been strongly supported by the powerful national rifle association. the nra told us it is opposed to any registry of law-abiding gun owners. so workers here are left with an antiquated system to trace 350,000 guns a year, requiring them to review by hand, tons of paper records and 500 million entries on microfilm. critics say it's the law enforcement equivalent of the horse and buggy. >> i'm calling in regards to the trace on the glock that we had. >> reporter: investigators spend much of their time on the phone. >> we actually have to contact the chain-- all the dealers in the chain of distribution. >> reporter: more than a third of the traces involve a gun store that's gone out of business. those records are sent to the tracing center, which receives more than 1,000 boxes a month. many of the records are barely legible. >> for example, these are records that we offed as a result of her cane katrina.
we had to dry these out in the parking lot. >> reporter: you dried these out in the parks lot. >> yes, circ we did. >> reporter: despite the burdensome process gun traces marked "urgent" are usually completed in 24 hours but routine traces average about five days. the a.t.f.'s workload is about to become even heavier, scott, because president obama has proposed all guns recovered by federal law enforcement agencies be addressed. that would add about 100,000 more gun traces each year. >> pelley: chip reid at the a.t.f. chip, thanks very much. that battery flab has grounded all of the 787 dreamliners may that battery flab has grounded all of the 787 dreamliners may be worse than we thought. that's next. but your erectile dysfunction - helps you be ready anytime the moment's right. you know,that could be a question you can be more confident in your ability to be ready. and the same cialis is the only daily ed tablet approved to treat ed and symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently or urgently.
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dreamliners have been grounded worldwide ever since batteries overheated and one of them caught fire. well, today, we've learned that airlines have been having frequent problems with the batteries, and sharyl attkisson has been looking into this. sharyl. >> reporter: scott, we've learned that united airlines had to replace multiple batteries on its fleet of six dreamliners in less than three months. united has only been flying the dreamliner since early november so aviation experts say it's a red flag that more than one battery would already be having trouble. japan's a.n.a. airline said it replaced 10 batteries on its fleet of 24, all before the two serious incidents of overheating grounded the fleet.
a.n.a. says half of those replaced batteries showed an unusually low charge which could be important when lithiom ion batteries recharge too low, recharging could be a fire risk. they told us it is not a result of safety concerns but part of a procedure faulty batteries aren't kept in circulation. >> pelley: the last of the andrews sisters died today. patty andrews was the sister in the middle, the lead singer of the group that provide the the soundtrack for the world war ii generation. patty, maxine, and laverne could bring g.i.s to tears with the ballad, "i'll be with you in apple blossom time." or get them rocking to "boogie, woogie bugle boy of company b." patty andrews was 94. the chefs of new orleans give their city a recipe for recovery next. th ill, helps provide many with day and night relief
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next at 7:00 we've gone from a yellow alert to a red alert, why a >> pelley: finally tonight, the super bowl has put the spotlight on new orleans. that city's cuisine is world famous, of course, and jim axelrod has found that it's played a major role in bringing new orleans back after katrina. played a major role in bringing new orleans back after katrina. >> reporter: when katrina hit new orleans, scott bozwell knew he was in a fight for his restaurant's survival. >> we were fighters.
we kept putting our heads down. every day we'd get up, figure it out and we'd get through it. >> reporter: he started by having his french-trained chef fire up the griel. the owner of a five-star restaurant was selling burgers. he even battererred with the national guard for fuel. you traded cheeseburgers for diesel. >> yes. >> reporter: now that's a new orleans economy. >> people did things out of the box. but we have to. >> reporter: he served a dozen people his first day, was up to 500 a week later, and never looked back. >> we had a $5 burger, potato chips and a drink, and it kept us alive. >> reporter: it was a model for the entire industry here. new orleans had 809 restaurants the day before katrina hit. there are 1332 now, this in a city that lost a quarter of its residents. the population shrunk, and yet the number of restaurants went up? >> yeah, it's a miracle, isn't it? >> reporter: tom fits marris
is a restaurant critic. >> the food show on wwwl. >> reporter: hes so passionate about food, he wouldn't take a break from his daily radio show to explain the expansion. he did it on the air. >> when we started eating like that again, when we were even getting local seafood already, we said, you know, maybe it will be all right. >> reporter: at 53,000 jobs, the restaurant business is now the largest private employer in the city. it generated $3.2 billion in sales in orleans parish last year. >> the comeback's no longer a comeback. it's just a matter of okay, we've come back, we've made it. >> reporter: a thought worth toasting here where business is smoking. jim axelrod, cbs news, new orleans. >> pelley: hard work in the big easy. that's the cbs evening news for tonight. for all of us at cbs news all around the world, good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh
access.wgbh.org we are following some breaking news tonight. there is a tornado watch in our town. let's get over to topper shutt in the weather center for the very latest on that. >> we're looking at a red alert, severe alert. we were at a yellow stage. now it's a full blown red because we have a tornado watch covering the entire metro area. it goes up into the pennsylvania/maryland border through the immediate metro area back into fredericksburg. this area here is severe thunderstorm warnings covering parts of fauquier county back into culpeper and fredericksburg near stafford county, but the watch in effect until 2 a.m. i'm not altogether sure we're going to see tornadoes, but i'm pretty sure we'll